Nickelodeon, Showtime finish off March in style

March went out like a lion on cable, with Nickelodeon and Showtime both scoring boffo numbers for key weekend broadcasts.

At Nickelodeon, Saturday’s edition of the “Kids’ Choice Awards” was the kudofest’s top-rated ever. Hosted by Jack Black, the event scored 7.4 million viewers overall. This year’s edition, the show’s 21st, was up 22% from last year.

Show also broke records in all of Nickelodeon’s major demos. Among children 2-11, the show averaged 3.8 million viewers, up 6% from last year. With kids 6-11, 2.9 million tuned in (up 4%), while an average of 2.7 million tweens 9-14 checked the show out (up 4%).

With those numbers, the Kids’ Choice Awards easily wound up as the week’s top-rated show in kids and tweens.

The ratings perf also makes the Kids’ Choice Awards one of the few televised award shows to actually gain viewers over the past few years. While major kudocasts struggle with declining auds, the Kids Choice Awards has seen its ratings and delivery increase every year since 2003.

Meanwhile, over at Showtime, adults lost their heads over Sunday’s second-season premiere of “The Tudors.” Just over 1 million viewers tuned in for the premiere and a same-night encore, a gain of 50% over the show’s season-one finale.

Compared with last year’s heavily hyped season premiere, viewership was off 12%. But Showtime execs argue that “Tudors” is now airing in a more competitive 9 p.m. timeslot.

What’s more, Showtime widely distributed the season premiere of “Tudors” online, attracting more than 1 million streams on sites such as YouTube and MSN.

Sunday’s series premiere of Tracey Ullman’s new comedy “State of the Union” also did well. It scored 776,000 viewers for its 10 p.m. debut and 10:30 rebroadcast. That’s nearly identical to the 795,000 pair of eyeballs that tuned in for the summer bow of Showtime’s “Californication.”

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